SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — First-time NBA champion Kevin Durant said he would hold off on resigning with the Warriors until they took care of their core guys.
He also said he was willing to take a pay cut for the Dubs to do so, but no one expected him to take $9 million less than he could have made.
The Finals MVP inked a two-year, $53 million deal with the second year being a player option, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
A selfless move by Durant who is coming off a spectacular first season with Golden State and allows the team to target a couple more free agents to round off its roster.
After next season, he will likely opt out of his deal again as he will be eligible for a super-max contract.
For the Warriors, they have now locked in Durant, Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry.
Curry agreed to a five year, $201 million max deal he was expected to and deserved to get.
Livingston chose happiness (and rings) over money and signed to make $8 million annually over the next three years.
But most relieving for Warriors fans: Iguodala keeping his talents in the Bay after exploring offers from the Spurs, Rockets, and Lakers.
The 2015 NBA Finals MVP agreed to a three-year, $48 million deal with the NBA champs on Sunday night.
Veteran David West agreed to a one-year deal in what will likely be his final NBA season.
A 38th pick in the draft a couple weeks back brought in Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Bell who will back up both the power forward and center positions next season.
Rookie stud Patrick McCaw and fellow youngsters Kevin Looney and Damian Jones are also set to return next season.
All the above along with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green total for 11 players on the Warriors’ roster for next season with four spots to fill.
So what’s next for the league’s best team and what do they need?
Ian Clark, JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia are all unrestricted free agents and potentially none will be suiting up in blue and gold come this fall.
McGee has drawn interest from the Suns, Clippers, and Heat and should be a priority now after the large amount of production he gave Golden State in just 10-15 minutes a game.
In the last two seasons, Clark has stepped up when called upon and shown that he isn’t afraid of the big stage or moment.
But because of his progression, he will command a steady pay raise that Golden State might not have the funds for, although Durant taking less could help Clark’s case.
As for Pachulia — don’t even get me started on him. Bye Zaza.
There are some free agents rumored to be on the Warriors spectrum including Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, Trey Burke and, wait for it, Nick Young.
Young, though has had his “Shaqtin’” moments, makes sense for Steve Kerr and company as he’s a consistent shooter, can get his own shot and is an improved defender.
Whomever the champs bring in next will become part of a special team and organization that has the entire NBA in its hands and looking from the bottom up.
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